Maverick Race is partnering with Sam Hill of Hill Performance to offer our community an exclusive deal to help take your running to the next level.
Some of you may recognise Sam from Camp Endeavour and he has recently decided to take his experience of running the mountain trails of the Alps to providing a top-class online coaching service. With the launch of Hill Performance, Sam is offering tailor-made online coaching and training plans to suit all levels of runner. We asked him a few questions to learn a bit more about what Hill Performance has to offer:
Why did you set up Hill Performance?
I was coached by my friend, and outstanding runner, Kim Collinson for a number of years and really valued the process. It motivated me, I was accountable to someone, it made me get out the door on those bad days and I always felt like I wasn't wasting my time - I was actually running with a purpose! I have been coaching people informally for the past couple of years, mainly people that I have met through training camps and mutual connections that have liked my philosophy towards running and it has made me dig deeper and deeper into the science behind the process. This interest grew and grew to the point where I decided to get qualified so my passion could hopefully help out the wider running community. My working life has been focused on helping people to gain confidence, build resilience and recognise their potential - Hill Performance is rooted in these values.
What are some of your running highlights?
I think that finishing the Petite Trotte a Leon, the big brother to the UTMB, sticks out as being one of my proudest running memories. 120hours of running, hiking and crying through some of the most amazing mountain scenery in the Alps. It was special. It was also a really interesting race to train for as I had only run 100 miles before that, so it was completely unknown territory! Aside from big races I really enjoy solo challenges in the mountains - things like the Bob Graham Round. There is something really cool about setting yourself an arbitrary challenge, getting a few mates together to help you out and see what happens. It’s great that this kind of thing has become so popular this year and the ‘FKT’ craze has taken the running world by storm, because these memories can be just as satisfying as race rankings.
What do you like to snack on while you’re out on the trails?
I like to eat as much real food as possible, especially on my long endurance runs. I love Pizza, fried potato with plenty of salt, avocado wraps and really moist banana bread...a heady combination! Sounds more like a picnic than race fuel but this is the stuff I will eat on slow training runs or ultra races over 50km when it wont stress my digestive system too much. For shorter efforts, like most others, I turn to gels, jellies and anything easily digestible. I have been using mountain fuel gels for years and even though I try other products from time to time, I keep coming back to their stuff...it just really works for me. I can get it down (and keep it down) when all else fails! P.s. I am in no way sponsored by them...wish I was!
What piece of kit do you never run without?
That is the trickiest question...I am such a gear nerd! I have a Compressport free belt pro which is starting to look a bit tatty. It comes out on almost all my runs. If I am just going out for an hour I stash my phone, keys and maybe a spare layer in it. For a 3 hour run I can fit in food, water, and a spare layer. For big days out it has really handy straps to carry folded up poles and I have found it’s the best place to stash my map and compass. It also has the added bonus of hiding your belly after eating too much pizza!
Why should people choose Hill Performance over all the other online coaches out there?
I think that I bring a pretty unique set of skills to the table. As well as being a fully qualified coach I am a sports nutritionist and International Mountain Leader. This means that I can create totally unique and effective training plans, help you fuel your training and races in the right way and if you want to go for a running adventure/race reccy/training camp I am qualified to guide you anywhere in the world! I would be the first to say that I am not the best or fastest runner in the world but I know how to work hard. I understand the processes that we all have to go through to improve, stay healthy and balance our hectic lives. I appreciate what failure feels like and recognise that it is part of the journey. Lastly, I love seeing others succeed, and I really enjoy being part of that journey.
What deal are you offering the Maverick Crew?
I have been involved with Mavericks in one way or another for the last 3 years and love what you guys do! So it's great to be able to partner and offer your community 15% off my online coaching services.
To finish off with, tell us a running story that will tell people a bit more about you and brings a smile to your face.
Well, we all have our low moments, right? Me and my running partner Rob Brown were about 100 hours into the PTL. We were climbing up to a col just as the sun was setting and we were caught in a thunder storm. Lightning was kicking off all around us so we decided to get into our little two man shelter that we were carrying and sit it out - it would have been a bit dangerous to have climbed any higher. So, there we were, the rain was lashing down, huddled together under a thin bit of (barely)waterproof material, keeping our fingers crossed that we weren’t going to get fried by a bolt of lightning. Rob decided to get his phone out to read some messages of support from friends and family. As he reads out the messages we both just start weeping. Two grown men, huddled together, weeping at the sound of “well done guys, you’re doing great”. Hilarious! The storm passed and we got to the col just as the sun was setting. I will always remember that moment. That is why I love running - the places it takes me to, the friends that it has given me and the fact that nothing else really matters when you’re up in the mountains.
You can get in touch with Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out his website for more information www.hillperformance.co.uk